It sounds like the Monforts are ready to pull the trigger on a move of the Casper Ghosts (rookie; Pioneer League) to Grand Junction’s Suplizio Field for the 2012 season, bringing player development closer to the Denver home base.
No surprise the Monforts are reportedly pulling the trigger: they were eying Grand Junction even before buying the team this past January, meeting with architects and management firms about a move in 2010 already. And now that an $8.3-million renovation for Suplizio Field is on track to be done before the 2012 season, the team will have a ready-made, albeit large (12,000-seat) shine new home, to be shared with the Junior College World Series.
Baseball has always been a hard sell in Casper; previous owners had done some smart things and failed to make it work. By contrast, the economy is strong west of Denver in the West Slope region because of anticipated oil-shale production. It’s expected that the Monforts would bring in an outside management firm to run the team in Grand Junction.
One obstacle remains: a $200,000 buyout of the team’s lease at Mike Lansing Field.
The move probably won’t affect the operations of the Pioneer League too much: Grand Junction is on the edge of the league footprint as well, marginally closer to Orem and Ogden and farther from the Montana teams.
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